Settlements with Teva and Allergan conclude Rhode Island’s principal opioid litigation, bringing the total of cash settlements up to nearly $190 million; Rhode Island to receive one million Naloxone sprays and additional treatment drugs free of charge over the next 10 years
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha today announced settlements with drug manufacturers Teva and Allergan that will deliver $28.5 million in cash as well as one million life-saving Naloxone sprays to Rhode Island over the next 10 years, free of charge.
Rhode Island will also receive 67,000 30-pill bottles of the treatment drug Suboxone in various doses over the next 10 years at no cost, bringing the combined settlement value up to approximately $107 million to combat the opioid epidemic. The agreements resolve claims brought by the Office for the companies’ roles in helping to fuel the opioid epidemic.
Over the past year, Attorney General Neronha has now negotiated a total of more than $250 million for opioid treatment, rescue, prevention, and recovery in Rhode Island. Today’s agreement also resolves Rhode Island’s claims against the last remaining opioid defendant in Rhode Island’s principal opioid litigation.
“While no amount of money will ever be enough to undo the harm suffered by Rhode Islanders throughout the ongoing opioid epidemic, these additional recoveries will further support public health efforts to respond to the challenges brought on by this epidemic, which have grown much worse during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Attorney General Neronha. “And now, with the agreement of Teva to supply the state with enough Naloxone to meet the projected demand, at no cost for the next 10 years, we can use these hard-gained monetary recoveries for other purposes. City and town leaders have been important partners in this litigation, and I look forward to working with them to deliver these additional resources to the people they serve.”
Settlement highlights include:
- Teva and Allergan will pay Rhode Island a combined $28.5 million over 13 years, $21 million from Teva and $7.5 million from Allergan.
- Municipalities will have the same opportunity to share in this recovery under the Memorandum of Understanding between the State and cities and towns, which provides that 20% of the cash recoveries will go to cities and towns that join the agreement.
- Payments are front-loaded to ensure monetary relief to Rhode Island as quickly as possible:
- A total of $12 million will be paid within 60 days of the settlement.
- Rhode Island will receive more than half of its cash recovery from Teva – $13 million – within one year of the settlement.
- Rhode Island will receive its full recovery from Allergan within six years, at $1.25 million per year.
- Cities and towns will have an opportunity to receive their share of funds upfront by joining the settlement within 60 days.
- Teva has also committed to supply Rhode Island with supplies of Naloxone and Suboxone that are sufficient to meet the State’s projected needs for the next 10 years, according to Rhode Island health officials.
- Teva will supply 50,000 kits of Naloxone (100,000 nasal sprays) per year for 10 years, medication valued at $62.5 million. Naloxone is a lifesaving intervention that can reverse the often-fatal effects of an overdose.
- Teva will supply Suboxone medication valued at $16 million over 10 years. Suboxone is a medication used to treat opioid use disorder.
Milestones in Rhode Island’s opioid litigation:
Today’s settlements are the latest step in Attorney General Neronha’s efforts to bring needed resources to Rhode Island to fight the opioid epidemic and to hold accountable those responsible.
In 2018, the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the country’s largest opioid distributors and manufacturers seeking to hold them accountable for the role they played in creating and fueling the opioid crisis in Rhode Island. In addition to Teva, the manufacturers named in the complaint included Purdue Pharma and members of the Sackler Family. The distributors named in the complaint were AmerisourceBergen Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., and McKesson Corporation.
In February 2021, Attorney General Neronha announced a $2.6 million settlement with McKinsey and Co., the management consulting firm that advised Purdue on marketing drugs like oxycontin at the height of the opioid epidemic. One million dollars of that settlement was used by the state to purchase Naloxone last year.
Attorney General Neronha then announced two major settlements in January 2022 – the first with drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal, and McKesson for at least $90.8 million and the second with Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen, an opioid manufacturer, for $21.1 million.
Earlier this month, after successfully objecting to a bankruptcy plan that would release claims against Purdue and the Sackler family without holding the Sacklers appropriately accountable – one of only nine states to do so – the Attorney General announced an approximately $45 million recovery from these defendants, more than doubling the amount Rhode Island would have received under the original plan.
Today, the Attorney General announced settlements with Teva and Allergan that secure $28.5 million for Rhode Island as well as $78.5 million in medication like Naloxone that will play a key role in Rhode Island’s efforts to end the opioid crisis.